Among the outstanding achievements of science and
engineering in the 20th century, the laser occupies by right a major
position. First lasers made in 1960 paved the way for the vehement
development of laser technology. Today, lasers and laser systems find
wide lise in many fields of science and engineering. They are employed
in communications systems, computers, navigation equipment, measuring
instruments, and in complicated technological processes. Biology,
medicine, and various chemical and physical investigations utilize
lasers to advantage.
Wide use of lasers in science and technology
is due to the specific properties of laser radiation. The laser is a
generator of coherent light. Unlike other sources of light, such as
incandescent lamps or arc lamps, the laser produces radiation with a
highly regular light field, outstanding in its high coherence,
monochromaticity and directivity. The discussion of lasers in this book
begins with the evaluation of the physics of processes resulting in
coherent optical radiation in the laser. This is the subject to Chapter
1. Chapter 2 takes up the classification of lasers and the physical and
engineering benefits of various types of lasers. Application of lasers
puts in the forefront the control of laser radiation.
includes not only such aspects of beam control as deflection, scanning
and modulation, but also the variation of the regime of oscillation to
produce radiation with the desired spatial, temporal, frequency and
power characteristics. All these topics are treated in Chapter 3.
Finally, Chapter 4 is concerned with diverse applications of lasers in
science and engineering.
The book was translated from the Russian by M. Edelev and was first published by Mir Publishers in 1986.
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